You are hereAlbum Review: The James Low Western Front - Whiskey Farmer (Union Made)
Album Review: The James Low Western Front - Whiskey Farmer (Union Made)
With a fresh country sound reminiscent of mid-period Gram Parsons and with more than a nod to that ether world that lies somewhere between Nashville and Bakersfield, Portland's James Low has taken his country-infected sound to Jackpot! Studios in order to record a whole bunch of songs that could easily have stretched to at least a couple of albums. The eight self-penned songs that make up this the band's first full length album WHISKEY FARMER were specifically chosen for their 'short story' qualities. The album not only showcases some well-crafted songs but also features a curious shot of James himself on the cover, parodying that iconic Michael Douglas pose from the Falling Down movie poster, which evokes the mood of the songs within. The Whiskey Farmer is born.
With the memorable title song, which chronicles the trials and tribulations of life in rural mid-America, Whiskey Farmer helps to create an almost cinematic landscape for each of the subsequent songs, something that Low intends to supplement in due course with eight specially made videos for each of the songs. One such video already exists showing our titular hero wandering the twilight city streets in Thinking California, searching for the sunshine, whilst at the same time trying to escape what appears to be a dead end life. The whiskey is there to ease the pain as Low succinctly points out in Words. It's not all doom and gloom as one or two songs create an almost uplifting sense of optimism, such as the jaunty Medicine Show.
With James providing acoustic guitar and gentle vocals throughout, the Western Front comprise Tim Huggins on bass, Dave Camp on guitar and Joe Mengis on drums, with additional contributions from Rob Burger on pump organ, Ralph Huntley on piano, Lewi Longmire on both pump and Hammond organ, Paul Brainchild on pedal steel and dobro and Mike Coykendall on percussion, who also produces.